Lonestar: A Texas Friends and Family Compilation
Multi-artist compilations are weird. All of them. Just how weird is highly dependent upon what your criteria for inclusion is, and with Peach Bloom’s Lonestar: A Texas Friends and Family Compilation that criteria is, as you probably guessed by the title, the artists are all from Texas. Genre, original or cover, demo or finished product, it doesn’t matter. Texas: my home state.
This is not limiting criteria.
Texas is a huge place often stereotyped and reduced in the minds of non-occupants as the ‘Land of Cowboys’ when in reality it’s a greatly segmented place: politically, culturally, and of course, musically. The artists featured on Lonestar all exist within an interwoven community, and even within that community, the artistic output on display varies immensely.
Mouse Trap’s “Falling In Love”, Crisman’s “Go”, and Hovvdy’s “Paint” demos all feel at home with each other, and beyond that, we’re looking at a pretty broad, scattershot picture of independent Texas music. This isn’t a bad thing, however. For as disjointed as Lonestar can often feel, it more than anything aids in its ability to fascinate and open ears.
The most fully formed and accessible songs on display are Fuvk’s dreamy indie rocker “Madeline” and Picnics’ indietronica/art pop gem “The Game”. Elsewhere, we have the three previously mentioned demos plus one, two covers, a hushed (and eventually mumbled) exploration of hypnagogia from Dead Sullivan, a tease at bedroom pop that quickly betrays expectations and morphs into a hyperactive piece of electronica that shifts between moments of trap and psychedelia in China Club’s “Gucci Rainboots”, William Austin Clay’s bizarre brand of experimental hip-hop, and Pissing Boy’s nostalgic and hypnotic closer, “There’s Just Life and Rings of Rubber”.
Lonestar isn’t a very smooth or focused listen on a surface level, but that’s the point of a compilation showcasing the talents within a location, is it not? To show that Texas isn’t any one thing. Traditional sense would spit at the idea of including Skirts’ stripped down cover of Alex G’s “Brite Boy” alongside William Austin Clay’s “Flip” and Why Bonnie’s dreamy demo for “Leave the Light On”. But what is the point of a location-based compilation (beyond the obvious) if not to spit at ‘traditional sense’ and broaden perspectives by means of art? For a collection of assorted odds & ends that should by all means not work well together, they strangely do, because the people work well together. That makes this a pretty special tape.
Favorite tracks: “The Game”, “There’s Just Life and Rings of Rubber”
Rating: Strongly Recommended
You can purchase Lonestar: A Texas Friends and Family Compilation here.